Pinto beans can be a healthy protein source. Eating 1/2 cup of pinto beans adds 8 g of protein to your daily intake. You will also get 8 g of dietary fiber without any fat or cholesterol from 1/2 cup of plain cooked pinto beans. Eating large amounts of pinto beans, however, can cause side effects, both negative and positive. Pinto beans may cause intestinal discomfort and gas. Beans naturally contain gas-causing substances and large amounts of fiber, both of which can lead to an increase in stomach cramping and flatulence. The Centers for Disease Control recommends soaking dried beans and changing the soaking water several times to cut back on the gas-causing properties found in pinto beans. Canned pinto beans tend to produce less intestinal gas than dried beans as well. Talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter enzyme tablet before eating pinto beans to help reduce stomach discomfort. Pinto beans contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants that can prevent some forms of cancer, according to an article in the January 2005 issue of \”The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. \” Pinto beans specifically contain kaempferol, a flavonoid that helps reduce inflammation.
The antioxidants found in pinto beans may slow the growth of tumors and increase the survival rate of healthy cells. If you suffer from thyroid cancer, your doctor may suggest that you avoid eating large amounts of pinto beans. Because thyroid cancer is treated with iodine radiation, avoid adding extra iodine to your diet during treatment. The Thyroid Cancer Survivors\’ Association states that pinto beans are naturally high in iodine. Consuming excess iodine during thyroid cancer treatment can reduce the effectiveness of the radiation because your body may not use all of the administered iodine in the treatment if your iodine levels are already high. Consuming 1/2 a cup of pinto beans daily can help reduce your total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, according to a study published in the June 2007 issue of the \”Journal of the American College of Nutrition. \” Replacing a less healthy protein source, such as fatty meats, with pinto beans helps reduce unhealthy fats from your diet and also helps increase your intake of dietary fiber, both of which can help lower your cholesterol and possibly reduce your risk for developing heart disease.
Though high in fiber, protein and vitamins, beans always seem to get a bad rap.
High amounts of a sugar substance called oligosaccharide occur in the skins of beans and other legumes. These oligosaccharides generate gas in the bowel when they break down, which can lead to flatulence. However, some beans are more gassy than others. For example, dried beans, such as lima beans, tend to trigger more gas than processed canned beans. In general, canned beans trigger less intestinal gas than dried beans. Canning removes some of the gas-causing sugars and coating. You need to rinse the canned beans a few times to remove the salty liquid. The liquid itself contains some of the oligosaccharides. All undercooked beans tend to cause more gas than well cooked, softened beans. Baked beans may cause less gas than other types of beans, but it depends on the ingredients. For example, beans mixed with fermented beer plus lots of sugar and salt can cause gas. Dried lima and navy beans cause the most intestinal gas, according to the cooking science website Exploratorium. edu. Any dried beans, including kidney beans and borlotti beans, cause excess gas unless they are thoroughly soaked.
All of these forms of dried beans require soaking before cooking so that they\’re soft and the toxins they contain are removed. Fresh beans such as broad beans and French beans have a softer shell and cause less gas than their harder-shelled cousins. Soaking any dried beans makes them more easily digestible by breaking down their starches, according to the University of Illinois Extension. The easiest way to soak beans is to leave them submerged in a bowl of cold fresh water overnight. Use 6 cups of water per pound of beans. As with canned beans, rinse the liquid once the beans have soaked, as the soaking water has a lot of starch and gas-causing substances. If you experience real discomfort or pain from intestinal gas after eating beans, some over-the-counter digestive aids can help. For example, Beano contains an enzyme that breaks down the oligosaccharides in the body, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. You can take the aid as a tablet or as a liquid treatment in five small droplets every time you eat beans. This helps reduce the flatulence and gas buildup.